Walmart Revives Buyout Talks for Russian Supermarket Chain Kopeika


Walmart (WMT) has renewed its efforts to purchase Russian supermarket chain Kopeika, following reports that competing Russian grocer X5's interest in acquiring it has waned, according to a Reuters article.

Walmart's interest in resuming buyout talks with Kopeika comes amid a shift in focus that has the world's largest retailer reportedly placing greater emphasis on expanding globally, and at a time when it faces greater opposition from rivals over its efforts to expand domestically. Walmart International plans to add 21 million square feet of new store space this year and another 23 million to 24 million next year, the company announced earlier this week as part of its growth strategy forecast.

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The retailing giant currently operates in 15 countries, but has yet to open a store in Russia. Walmart has reportedly had an on-again, off-again interest in acquiring Kopeika since 2002: This most recent renewal of interest came when X5, Russia's largest retailer, appeared to lose enthusiasm for merger after winning government approval for it, according to Reuters.

While Walmart would like to gain a foothold in the Russian market, the company noted this week it particularly wants to focus on such emerging economies as China, Brazil and Mexico.